Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Ecotourism Australia’s 28th annual Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference will be held in Margaret River, Western Australia from 1 – 3 December 2020.

The event – the world’s longest running ecotourism conference – was last held in Western Australia, specifically Rottnest Island, in 2015. It was last held in Margaret River in 1998.

“Ecotourism has come a long way in that time and now represents some 25% of the industry Australia-wide,” said Ecotourism Australia Chair, Dr Claire Ellis.

“The conference is usually held in late November/early December, so we are hopeful that by then travel is again a normal part of our lives.

“[The event] will be an important time to re-calibrate, focus on rebuilding affected markets and creating strong returns to businesses, destinations and communities through tourism.”

The role of partnerships, collaboration and cooperative marketing will come to the fore as the industry moves into a recovery mode. 

The conference is being supported at a state level by the Tourism Western Australia and The Department of Biodiversity and Attractions, together with Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, Augusta Margaret River Shire and the South West Development -Commission.

CEO of Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, Steve Harrison said “We are proud in playing a part in attracting this conference to the Margaret River Region as it reflects the focus that many of our members and the shire have on ensuring a sustainable future for our region.” 

Global Eco is Ecotourism Australia’s premier annual event and is the most respected ecotourism conference in the world.  It attracts leading tourism industry operators, ecotourism professionals, tourism bodies and researchers.

It is expected that this year’s conference will attract some 200-250 delegates from across Australia and around the world.

More details on the conference location and theme will be released in the coming days.




For questions and comments, please contact:

Lina Cronin – Communications Manager – [email protected], 0422 325 488


Congratulations to Daydream Island for achieving Ecotourism certification! This island resort, which has just undergone a major redevelopment following damage from Cyclone Debbie in 2017, offers an incredible Great Barrier experience for both domestic and international guests.

One of 74 islands in the Whitsundays region, Daydream Island offers one of Australia’s most unique reef experiences with its amazing Living Reef, a free form coral lagoon wrapped around the central building, 200m in length and holding over 1.5 million litres of water and over 100 species of marine fish, rays, coral and invertebrates such as starfish, sea cucumbers and crabs.

DD Underwater Observatory welcome article

Photo credit – Daydream Island

Another special feature is the underwater observatory, which allows visitors to look through a large acrylic window out at a typical reef system.  With qualified marine biologists on site, experiences such as reef ranger programs and guided snorkel and night tours allow visitors to a deeper level of learning and fun for children and adults alike. The resort also participates in reef monitoring, coral restoration and research on sharks and rays.

DD Drone welcome article

Photo credit – Daydream Island

Each of the 277 fully refurbished modern rooms and suites offers a delightful view to wake up to – across lush, tropical gardens or looking out to the impossibly blue waters of the Whitsundays. All of these rooms use LED lighting and natural lighting, and green power is purchased to cover the additional energy necessary for the resort’s office and other operations.  

Guests are transported to the island on Cruise Whitsundays, another ECO certified operator, and products are purchased locally by the resort to reduce transport emissions. These products include building materials, furniture and produce. There is a no email print policy at the resort and recycled paper is used when printing can’t be avoided. All ink cartridges are refilled instead of being replaced. The recycling system in place includes separating general waste from recyclable materials including glass, hard plastics and aluminium, and emission sources are identified and assessed, recorded monthly for comparison and reduced where possible. Unavoidable emissions are offset through the purchase of carbon credits.

DD Palm welcome article

Photo credit –Daydream Island

Daydream Island is committed to continuous improvement. Initiatives have been proposed for the next 12 months to combat environmental impacts and these will be closely monitored. These include a composting system for kitchens, improved rubbish disposal and recycling, reduced water consumption, reduced power consumption by 5%, staff awareness and training and ensuring suppliers are aligned with the resort’s environmental values.

Once again, congratulations to Daydream Island and welcome to the Ecotourism Australia family!

Lovers Cove welcome article

Photo credit –Daydream Island

For more information, visit the Daydream Island website or Facebook page


Ecotourism Australia certified operators took home more gold awards than any state at Friday night’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra.

Winning almost one quarter of all awards, including over a third of gold awards, 8% of silver awards and 28% of bronze awards, these successes once again provide undisputable proof of the high calibre of ecotourism businesses across the country.

Ecotourism Australia CEO, Rod Hillman, said that these results are impressive, especially considering ecotourism operators are not even eligible for all of the awards categories.

“We see these results year on year from our operators and it’s just great to see that these businesses continue to be recognised on a national scale.

“All of them are 100% committed to not only offering outstanding visitor experiences, but also conducting their business in a way that protects people and planet for generations to come.

These are true movers and shakers in our industry, and we applaud them for their successes.”

Ecotourism and Respecting our Culture (ROC) certified Nitmiluk Tours and Cicada Lodge, who took home a record four awards on the night, three of them gold, are proud of what this means for their region’s Traditional Owners, and for the recognition of Australia’s Indigenous cultural heritage.

“The success of Nitmiluk and Cicada Lodge is based on strong relationships and partnerships within the NT and interstate – Ecotourism Australia being one of them,” said Nitmiluk’s Chief Operating Officer, Sveva Falletto.

“We are thankful to our team members [and] our board and we share these awards with all our partners. It’s a team effort.”

The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards were held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra on Friday night, 6 March.

Ecotourism Australia certified operators made up close to a fifth of all finalists on the night, with those awarded representing the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.


For questions and comments, please contact:

Lina Cronin – Communications Manager / [email protected] or 07 32566777


Ecotourism Australia certified winners – Qantas Australian Tourism Awards 2019


Adventure Bay Charters

Bronze – Adventure Tourism

Calypso Star Charters

Gold – Tourist Attractions

Cobbold Gorge

Bronze – Tourist Attractions

Habitat Noosa

Gold – New Tourism Business

Kimberley Quest

Gold – Tour and Transport Operators

Lady Elliot Island

Silver – Ecotourism

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Bronze – Ecotourism

Nitmiluk Tours

Bronze – Major Tourist Attractions

Nitmiluk Tours

Gold – Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism

Nitmiluk Tours (Cicada Lodge)

Gold – Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services

Nitmiluk Tours (Cicada Lodge)

Gold – Luxury Accommodation

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Bronze – Major Tour and Transport Operators

Rainforestation Nature Park

Bronze – Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism

Red Cat Adventures

Gold – Major Tour and Transport Operators

Red Cat Adventures

Silver – Adventure Tourism

Roaring 40s Kayaking

Gold – Adventure Tourism

Tasman Venture

Bronze – Tour and Transport Operators

Venture North Australia

Gold – Cultural Tourism


GSTC Destination Criteria v2 – Now Available in Portuguese (Portugal)

The GSTC Destination Criteria v2 has been translated into Portuguese (Portugal/Africa) and is available to download in the Criteria Translations section. Os Critérios GSTC para a Destinos estão já traduzidos para português (Portugal/Africa) e disponíveis para descarga na secção Criteria Translations.

The post GSTC Destination Criteria v2 – Now Available in Portuguese (Portugal) appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).


Our congratulations go out to Luxury Yachting on achieving Ecotourism Certification for their charter operations in the Whitsundays!  

The Hamilton Island based tour operator offers individually tailored sailing adventures. The owners, Lynne and John Boyce, share their deep knowledge of the Whitsunday Islands and will offer you an unforgettable experience surrounded by Queensland’s most prestigious nature.

Sydney Sundancer cockpit and foredeck for welcome article

You will spend your time onboard the Sydney Sundancer, Lynne and John’s magnificent 60 foot ‘floating home,’ lazing away in the tropical sun with a freshly made fruit punch in hand. There is a massive deck area from which guests can enjoy beautiful sunsets and spectacular meals. For day trips, the yacht is licensed to carry up to 50 passengers, but for the liveaboard expeditions that Lynne and John offer on the Great Barrier Reef, they limit the overnight guests to either four guests for cabin bookings or maximum eight guests for private charters. 

Sydney Sundancer aft deck looking forward for welcome article

While John ensures the yacht runs smoothly through the water, Lynne will surprise you with her cuisine. Lynne is a master chef (she’s even published a cookbook in response to decades of requests from guests!) and prepared to cater to everybody on board with the freshest local produce, while including every special dietary requirement.

You can trust John and Lynne’s experience: John’s perfected his navigation skills over 30 years and Lynne is a Master Reef Guide with extensive knowledge of the area, so they’re able to show you the most beautiful beaches and hidden gems of the remote outer reef.

DSC 6489 Luxury Yachting welcome articl

With sustainability high on the agenda, you’ll have access to reusable bags and water bottles on deck, and the Sydney Sundancer even has a SodaStream machine, so you don’t have to miss out on the little luxuries. The yacht sails, using wind power as nature intended, and renewable energy is used to power and run portable fridges and lights. 

Depending on how much time you have to spend on your luxury yacht, you will be able to explore uninhabited islands, go snorkelling, enjoy some kayaking or even have the chance to see whales. John and Lynne will tell you stories about the magnificent marine life around you, and ensure you have a wonderful experience, no matter the occasion.

Lunch at Cid Harbour 02 for welcome article

Once again, congratulations on this big achievement and welcome to Ecotourism Australia!

For further information, please visit their website.  




Survey on how the SDGs have been incorporated into tourism

The survey is conducted to glean the information from all around the world and from all the tourism sub-sectors. It will provide an overarching preview of the current situation of the carried-out activities on how the Sustainable Development Goals are incorporated into tourism. The results will pave the way towards consolidating the existing initiatives and […]


Pico Play brings half a century of expertise to creating themed experiences, providing clients with bespoke concept, designing and planning solutions for a wide range of themed attraction and tourism and leisure destinations including theme parks, water parks, nature parks, aquariums, zoos, galleries and family entertainment centres.

Their talented team of attraction industry professionals provides the complete range of services for the planning, design and execution of project delivery.

The planning stage includes marketing studies, cost planning, economic planning, feasibility studies and intellectual property licensing agreements. The design stage focuses on master planning, concept design, storytelling and character design, design documentation and multimedia production. The execution involves strong project management, ride and show procurement, specialty themed fabrication, sculptures and props, themed signage, facades and show production.

Pico Play believe in the real magic of entertainment.

Currumbin Pico Play BM article

Their approach begins with creative and innovative visons, is driven by strong storytelling principles and robust technological integration enables them to provide memorable and engaging guest experiences. Pico Play work closely with clients to develop attractions and destinations that suit their unique environments and meet the demands of their target markets.

The strength of this global and award-winning company is inspired by the diversity of some 2,500 professionals working in 35 major cities worldwide and from the depth of understanding of different cultures and industry practices. Pico Play’s comprehensive services and unique talent for experiential design and storytelling have been keys to the success of major projects by world leading brands across cinema, television broadcasting and entertainment and animated TV series.

Pico recognises that ecotourism and wellness are growing categories, important for future tourism growth.

Bryce Holding Cup Pico Play BM article

We are happy to welcome Pico Play to our Ecotourism Australia family as a Business Member.

For more information, visit the Pico Play website or check them out on LinkedIn.

Interested in becoming an Ecotourism Australia Business Member? Find out more here.